On Friday, 23 August 2019, the University of Venda (UNIVEN) Law students were privileged to be exposed to different career paths that they can pursue after completing their studies at UNIVEN. This happened during the Law Careers information session hosted by the Law Students’ Council and the Black Lawyer’s Association Student Chapter at the University Sports Hall.
Dean of the School of Law, Prof Lonias Ndlovu, appreciated the work done by the UNIVEN Law Students’ Council and the Black Lawyer’s Association Student Chapter in organising a career fair for law students. He said that an event like this is vital because it prepares and paves way for students on what they should expect in the workplace and what they must do to access the legal profession. “As the University of Venda is on its new plan to position itself for impact, it is important that we as the School of Law interact and engage with the relevant professional stakeholders, who may from time to time come and equip our students with knowledge so that we can go and make an impact in the societies where we come from,” he said.
The Principal of Polokwane School for Legal Practice, Ms Queen Gopo said the primary benefits of attending the School for Legal Practice is that law graduates gain a full spectrum of skills and knowledge they may not gain as candidate attorneys during their tenure of articleship. She said the aims of the school are to ensure that the candidate attorney will, after completion of the course have a basic knowledge of the learning areas that have been identified; have the necessary expertise to solve a given legal problem with the minimum supervision; be able to integrate various skills and apply these particular skills in the execution of various tasks; be able to develop their basic skills further in practice; have a knowledge of the correct approach and the ethical norms that are required of an attorney and be able to apply these in practice. “The aims include the nurturing of constitutional imperative values that will promote the image of the profession,” she said.
Catherine Mothibithibi of Legal Aid South Africa in Thohoyandou highlighted to the UNIVEN law students that the only way to start one’s law firm after articles with Legal Aid South Africa is through the pool of lawyers/ legal practitioners that they create. ” It doesn’t matter whether you have completed your degree or not, we can call you and follow all the protocols through interviews and if you pass, we will put you through our pool wherein we will be waiting for your qualifications. That means the interview doesn’t guarantee you a job but works for legal aid or the country to have a pool of lawyers on standby in case of emergency.” She explained.
Victor Mavhidula, Head of the Human Rights Commission in the Limpopo Province, outlined that law students should equip their minds with information before they leave the institution so that they can be useful after leaving the university. “Law students should expose themselves to the latest issues happening around them. You should behave and act like a professional lawyer while you are still a student.” He added that there are many social issues that affect the communities and law students should advocate ways to solve such issues to better the life of societies out there.
Mashudu Nekhumbe from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in Thohoyandou added to what Mavhidula had said. She said that at the NPA, students go through a training programme so that they can qualify as prosecutors. “You can’t be a prosecutor if you don’t have a vision and reasons why you want to be a prosecutor and you also need to be a qualified law practitioner,” she said.
Tebogo Munyai and Fumanekile Makamu from Makamu & Munyai Inc
Tebogo Munyai and Fumanekile Makamu of Makamu & Munyai Inc shared steps that students should follow when they want to open their own law firms. They further shared the journey of how a student or learner can be admitted as a conveyancer. Tebogo Munyai mentioned that candidates need to register for certain modules, write exams and engage in research.
Fumanekile Makamu urged students to be very selective when it comes to people and friends that they associate themselves with. She further told them to be careful of who to socialise with because those around them should be able to inspire and motivate them in supporting them realise their dreams. He added that students should worry more about being admitted as attorneys because that will be the only way to pave their way to start their own law firms.
In giving the vote of thanks, Constance Mabasa thanked all the invited guests who took their precious time and honoured the invitation to come and talk to UNIVEN Law Students. “We have also noted the presence of students and your participation throughout this career guidance.” She thanked students for attending.
Department of Communications & Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525
Date: 19 September 2019